Posted in | AFM Raman Systems

VEGA AFM for Large Samples

The superior imaging quality offered by the integrated acoustic and vibration isolation, the industry lowest optical beam deflection sensor noise of 25 fm/Hz, active thermostabilization, and specialized design of scanning-by-tip system enable regular high-resolution imaging.

The equipment is provided with more than 50 AFM modes, including the HybriD mode—all advanced electrical, nanomechanical, and magnetic studies can be performed using the basic configuration.

Samples arrays can be analyzed in an automated manner by a user-defined scenario using the database image storage.

Samples with a size of up to 200 × 200 mm and a height of 40 mm can be inspected with a positioning accuracy of 1 μm, at any point.

Scanning parameters can be optimized at just a single click with the help of the Smart ScanTronic™ software. In contrast to being merely an algorithm, it is a specialized companion that helps new users of AFM to obtain images of industrial quality and also helps the experts.

Expansive customization possibilities — integration of OEM sample holders and additional optical equipment, and automation of measurement and data analysis processes based on the user’s needs.

Performance

Superior positioning precision for automated inspection of large samples and sample arrays

VEGA AFM for Large Samples

VEGA AFM for Large Samples

VEGA is the first AFM to offer industry standard automation to all customers:

  • All regular processes such as laser alignment, area of interest exchange, tuning of scanning parameters, and gentle approach are completely automated
  • The user interface for multiple AFM measurements, smart algorithms, and database image storage enable the serial measurements of multiple and large samples in a time-effective and simple manner
  • Since motorized sample positioning stage is in correlation with optical image, positioning accuracy of 1 μm can be achieved over an area of 200 × 200 mm.

Perfect environment for high-resolution measurements

High-resolution measurements need an exceptional level of acoustic and vibration isolation of AFM working environment. With the integrated acoustic enclosure and active anti-vibration system, VEGA is the ideal choice for demanding AFM studies.

Thermal drift is a difficult problem encountered during long-term and high-resolution measurements specifically in the case of large-sample AFMs with huge mechanical parts. The specialized design of the build-in fan-free enclosure offers VEGA the potential to run at conditions of extraordinary temperature stability within 0.05 °C. This ensures the excellent low thermal drift of <0.2 nm/minute.

Ultimate resolution

The specialized 100 × 100 μm closed-loop scanner and control electronics design from NT-MDT enables atomic resolution and topography measurement noise of <30 pm.

HOPG atomic resolution, 6 × 6 nm

HOPG atomic resolution, 6 × 6 nm

The lowest OBD sensor noise of 25 fm/Hz of all commercially available large-sample AFMs is guaranteed by the 850 nm non-coherent superluminescent diode (SLD) source and the unique optical scheme design.

Customization

OEM sample holders:

The mechanical design of VEGA enables kinematical mount and rapid exchange of the sample holder. Based on requests from users, NT-MDT can develop specialized:

  • Multiple sample holders
  • Vacuum wafer chucks
  • Holders with options for sample temperature control, etc.

Additional optical equipment:

  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Optical microscope with a resolution of up to 250 nm
  • Ellipsometry, etc.

The sample XY-positioning accuracy of 1 μm makes it possible to integrate the equipment and correlate it with AFM probe position.

Automation of measurement and data analysis procedures:

Software engineers at NT-MDT can create specialized automation algorithms based on customers’ requirements.

Basic Configuration Offers Most Advanced Set of AFM Modes

HybriD (HD) mode:

  • Fast force volume: force-distance curves can be recorded for each scanning point
  • Quantitative nanomechanical measurements (QNM): work of adhesion values and Young’s modulus mapping
  • HD KPFM, HD SCM, and HD EFM enable single- and multi-frequency electrostatic studies
  • HD Conductive Probe AFM (HD CP-AFM) for performing non-destructive conductive measurements
  • HD MFM enables magnetic studies
  • HD Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (HD PFM) for performing non-destructive piezoresponse measurements

Self-assembled diphenylalanine peptide nanotubes: simultaneous topography, adhesion, d2C/dZ2, and in-plane piezoresponse phase (direction of polarization) measurements obtained by HD mode, 8 × 8 μm.

Self-assembled diphenylalanine peptide nanotubes: simultaneous topography, adhesion, d2C/dZ2, and in-plane piezoresponse phase (direction of polarization) measurements obtained by HD mode, 8 × 8 μm.

Tin-Bismuth alloy: (a) Topography, (b) Elastic Modulus, (c) Surface Potential

Tin-Bismuth alloy: (a) Topography, (b) Elastic Modulus, (c) Surface Potential

HD PFM study of real-time temperature dynamic of TGS crystal near Curie point. Topography is overlayed by out-of-plane piezoresponse. Scan size is 15 × 15 μm.

HD PFM study of real-time temperature dynamic of TGS crystal near Curie point. Topography is overlayed by out-of-plane piezoresponse. Scan size is 15 × 15 μm.

High-resolution Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM):

Superior signal-to-noise ratio, an MFM spatial resolution better than 30 nm, and the XY motorized stage with a size of 200 × 200 mm make VEGA an ideal tool for data storage inspection.

HDD servo sector, 10 × 6 μm

HDD servo sector, 10 × 6 μm

Multi-frequency electrical studies:

  • Single- and two-pass Amplitude and Phase Modulation Scanning Capacitive Force Microscopy (SCFM)
  • Single- and two-pass Amplitude and Phase Modulation Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM)
  • Single- and two-pass Amplitude and Frequency Modulation Electrostatic Force Microscopy (EFM)

Topography, Surface Potential, and dC/dZ of self-assembled F14H20 on Si, 1.5 × 1.5 µm

Topography, Surface Potential, and dC/dZ of self-assembled F14H20 on Si, 1.5 × 1.5 µm

Complete list of AFM modes in the basic configuration:

  • HybriD mode AFM—topography, fast force volume, Young’s modulus, piezoresponse force microscopy, viscoelasticity, work of adhesion, current
  • Amplitude modulation AFM: phase, topography, feedback
  • Contact AFM: force modulation, topography, spreading resistance imaging, lateral force
  • Kelvin probe force microscopy: phase modulation, single-pass and two-pass amplitude modulation
  • AFM spectroscopy: phase-distance, force-distance, I(V), amplitude-distance, I(Z)
  • Switching spectroscopy and piezoresponse force microscopy
  • Magnetic force microscopy: two-pass and frame lift DC/AC
  • Scanning capacitance force microscopy: frequency modulation (dC/dZ and dC/dV imaging), single-pass and two-pass amplitude modulation
  • Electrostatic force microscopy: frequency modulation, single-pass and two-pass amplitude modulation
  • Nanolithography: current, voltage, force

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